Born and Raised in Bangkok, I now live in Indianapolis, Indiana where numbers of restaurants are higher than its minority population. I can count heads. I bet numbers of Thais who live here equals numbers of Thai restaurants in town. It’s scary.
After graduating from a college in a small town in Indiana, I had a job offered in a ‘very small’ town in Kentucky. Lots of my American friends had made their point about the town by calling it a ‘hick’ town. As a newly graduate, I was aware of three factors why I shouldn’t be so picky: 1) It is a male-dominated job 2) I am a minority female who was about to enter a majority male-dominated job 3) I am a newly grad with a thick accent with little to no experience.
I packed my bags, got a U-Haul, and pondered, ‘What the heck.’
It’s been over five years now. I am still a photojournalist, but no longer in Kentucky. Everyday I fight, but still cannot believe I have done it in Thai ‘ways.’ It works. This includes working, dating and socializing.
So many Thais who live aboard have lost their identity as a Thai because they are so absorbed into another culture. Some of my Thai friends who live here feel that it’s hard to stay ‘so’ Thais and try to fit in. That might be right, but my question is: aren’t you tired?
I believe if you have to change, or even try to change who you are, you are losing your identity. If you are losing your identity, you are no longer yourself. That’s a shame. As of today, I have learned certain things about surviving in a foreign land. It has become everyday challenge, but fun so far.